Action for Children issue key recommendations for Scotlandís care system

Category: Looked after children

16th October 2017

A newly published report by Action for Children includes extensive feedback from care experienced young people in Scotland and makes four key recommendations for change to be implemented by the independent review in Scotland's care system.

The research is based on the views of almost 500 young people in the care system who are supported by the charity.

Chaired by Fiona Duncan, chief executive of the Corra Foundation, the review looks at the underpinning legislation, practices, culture and ethos of the care system.

Its intention is to propose changes to the care system that will improve both the quality of life and outcomes of young people in care.

Paul Carberry, director of Action for Children in Scotland, said: "The independent review of Scotland's care system is a huge opportunity to address any parts of the system that are failing our young people. In our report, we have looked at what care experienced children and young people have told us.

"More needs to be done to ensure that all the existing laws, policies, strategies, guidance, programmes and initiatives that have been committed to are fully implemented and delivered. The care system must evolve, in design and practice, with what young people, professionals and carers who live and work in it believe is needed.

"The review now has the opportunity to do this and make a real difference for children and young people in care."

Brad Ritchie is one of the care experienced young people who fed into the report. He is 21 and was born in Irvine. At the age of nine, he was separated from his three siblings after family breakdown.

The charity supported Brad to address underlying mental health issues that were causing him concern which he had not previously sought help for.

Brad said: "I felt nervous, worried about change, and getting used to new surroundings made me scared. I also worried too if I would fit into their family as they already had children and I might have been treated differently. This was first placement where I would be on my own as my sister had been moved on to a different placement during our stay with the first foster carer."

Although in a much better place now, Brad still recognises the frustrations caused by some of the failings within the care system.

"I think the local authority could have helped me more when I left my foster carer," said Brad. "I had to present as homeless, and I had no idea where to access the support, that was available."

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